Sammy K (Kestenholtz)

Sammy K (Kestenholtz)

Independent Artist and Educator

SAMMY K “ Educator/Independent Artist

Grammy nominee Sammy K ( is an international educator, clinician, and performer. He is an educator for the Music for All Summer Symposium (sponsored by Yamaha) Joe's Jazz Camp (Atlanta GA), New Horizons Band Camp, and the Dayton Jazz Labs. In addition to his teaching, he is a six-time Down Beat Award winner and the Drummer on the Song and Record of the Year (Dove Awards). Sammy's Groove Boot Camp is taught internationally to students and educators alike.

Sammy has appeared on the Emmy winning Wayne Brady Show, Ally McBeal (with KC&The Sunshine Band and Josh Groban), and in The Fast and The Furious. He has recorded/performed with a list of artists: Bob Hope, The Manhattan Transfer, Burt Bacharach, Steve Lawrence, Jimmy Heath, Lucy Lawless, Dave Brubeck, Jon Hendricks, and the United States Air Force Band. His playing can be heard on: MythBusters, several Disney holiday DVDs, Confessions of an Eco Terrorist, ABC, CBS, NBC, and the films The Girl on The Train, The Spaces In Between: On the Road with Amy Cook, and Dalai Lama Awakening. His other clients have included: Ferrari, The Walt Disney Company, The International Toys For Tots Campaign, Six Flags, Daimler Chrysler, Jeep, Panda Express, PG&E, the Los Angeles Laker Band, the Hal Leonard Publishing Company, MatFal Music, Much Music Television and the Tournament of Roses.

Sammy is an endorser of Remo Drumheads, Zildjian Cymbals, Yamaha Drums, Vic Firth Drumsticks, Cympad cymbal washers, Big Bang Distribution and Kotz Cajons.

IN 3

  • Most memorable Next-Level Performance

    I was asked to come back to Western Michigan University to perform in honor of Billy Hart. When I finished playing, he fanned me with his jacket in an old school moment of respect. I will NEVER forget that feeling!
  • What Drives Your Creativity?

    Roller coaster and motorcycle riding fuel my inner creative streak. The sounds of daily life, drummers and bands I enjoy also keep me inspired.
  • Why do you choose Vic Firth?

    Vic Firth has always stood for top quality and innovation. The implement I hold is my connection to the instrument and must be both well made and transparent. Vic Firth products are the best tools for me because they are so 'right' I don't ever think about them!


Independent Artist and Educator